Myth 13: Leaning without Countersteering

Another ‘myth’ busted… As I have been advocating and stating for the 15 years I have been cycling. Countersteering along with body steering is the ONLY proper (safe & efficient) way to steer and turn a bicycle. Kudos to Jan and crew for their thoughtful analysis.

Off The Beaten Path

Glancing at the photo above, you might think that I am turning right (seen from the rider’s view). Actually, I am beginning a left turn. What you see is countersteering – literally the only way we can lean a bike into a corner.

This post is part of our ‘Myths in Cycling’ series to celebrate Bicycle Quarterly’s 15th anniversary. In these posts, we examine things we used to believe, but which we’ve since found not to be true.

Countersteering is how a bike leans: You move the wheels to the outside of the corner, so the bike becomes unbalanced and leans into the turn. The video above illustrates this as I take BQ’s most recent test bike, the Surly Midnight Special, through an S-bend.

At first, you see the bike leaning to the right (seen from the rider’s perspective) as I finish the right turn. Then I quickly have to…

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